Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-03-28-Speech-3-295"

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"First of all, on the issue of whether the timing of this debate reflects the importance of the inclusion of the new Member States, I can only say that this House is responsible for its own scheduling. I could say clearly that I would have preferred it to have taken place earlier this evening as well, but I have to defer to Parliament’s scheduling. The phasing-in of direct payment was an issue raised by almost all of you. It is mentioned in several paragraphs in the report as well. I would like to explain that the phasing-in was not introduced solely for budgetary reasons. In the run-up to accession, the Commission made a thorough analysis of all the relevant factors. Based on this, the accession strategy for the common agricultural policy was based on economic, social and ecological factors. It was also necessary to boost the essential restructuring in the new Member States. This was not a decision that was taken in the Council of the 15 Member States. This was a decision that was taken in Copenhagen in 2002 with the new Member States participating in the discussions on the phasing-in of the direct payments. So everybody was around the table. So, on the statement that our own reforms are doing away with agriculture, I have to tell you clearly that it is actually to ensure that there will be a future for European agriculture, and I am sure that if we work together in Parliament, the Council and the Commission, we can create a future for European agriculture with all the strength that our sector has for delivering the high-quality products that we will need for the future, and I think that the example of the imports of frozen strawberries from China is an example where, when we join together, we can find decent solutions. Discrimination in the common agricultural policy was mentioned as well within the wine and food sector. Come on! I think that we have tried to find a solution that can enable the new Member States to go together in the producer organisations in the fruit and vegetable sector by giving a higher co-financing percentage to the new Member States, by encouraging their sectors, their fruit and vegetable producers, to join these producer organisations so that they can be much stronger in their competition with the big retail sectors. So, instead of quarrelling, let us stick together and find decent solutions for the common agricultural policy within the European Union."@en1

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